07:13:56 am on
Thursday 29 Oct 2020

Her Voice
AJ Robinson

As a rule, these days, anyway, I do not answer the phone when I don’t recognize the numbering on the caller ID. These days there are way too many scams, political speeches, sales pitches and even head-hunters pushing jobs on me. I’m very happy in my current position thank you very much.

Snarky responses to tele-marketers.

I’ve even considered following the suggestion of a meme I saw on line that suggested when I get a call from an unknown number I answering it by saying, “The target has been eliminated; I await instructions for the next victim.” I just don’t have the nerve for such a thing.

My luck it’ll be the Police Benevolent Association or the Girl Scouts of America asking for a donation. This past Saturday, the phone rang; it was a Naples number and not my brother or any family number I knew. Still, I was intrigued. I answered it.

After all, it could have been the rehab center, where my mother lives, calling with vital information about her. I am glad I answer that anonymous phone call. The voice on the other end was an angel, my angel: it was my mother.

It wasn’t merely my mother. I’ve spoken to her several times over the past few months since her confinement in both hospital and rehab center. Though it is always a joy to speak to her, yet the weakness of her voice tempered my joy as did the confusion in her mind and the defeat in her attitude.

There were times when I would call. She had no idea who I was. After more than one call I wept.

Mom was on the beam during this call.

Not this time, not this call. Well, I will admit to tears of joy after the call was over. You see, the voice on the other end of the line was her voice, her true voice.

It was the voice I remembered from the last time we had a good visit, a pre-accident visit. My mom was her old self again. She spoke with strength and clarity; her mind was sharp and focused.

It was as if the accident had never happened. She asked about my work, the health of my wife, Jo; the family, how my daughter, Alexa, was doing and what book I was working on. We chatted of my brother, Greg, and his family; she was worried for Jack and Sarah going to school, as she knew corona was still an issue.

Most especially, we spoke of the future. She was looking forward to getting back to her residence at Aston-Gardens and seeing her friends. There were card games waiting for her to play, people with whom to chat and she wanted to catch up on what was going on at the clubhouse.

Yes, my mom was back. Amazing how a mere voice on the phone can affect you, isn’t it? I was over-joyed.

Then we talked about the most important matter of all: a visit. We would line up a weekend very soon and drive to Naples. We could stay with Greg and Anne and then schedule, with the staff, a reserved time and space to see mom.

That was the greatest joy of all. It meant we would finally be together as mother and child after so many months of quarantine. There was nothing in the world to compare to that level of pleasure. We count the days until we see her, again.

I can’t help but think about an episode of the old Star Trek series. Yes, I know it’s silly, but I’m a lifelong Trekkie, what can I say? In the episode Amok Time, Spock speaks of the ancient drives that compel him to return home.

Homing signal.

I have my own “homing signal.” It is calling me to sit by my mother and chat. I look forward to fulfilling that call.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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